We like to think we know a thing or two about solving your car problems – after all, we’ve been a world leader in car repair and maintenance products since 1919. From solving issues under the bonnet to ensuring every part is working to its fullest, we make sure car problems don’t disrupt your day.
That’s why we love the car blogging community online – it’s a great way to find out new tips and tricks for looking after your car. We’ve rounded up a selection of your favourite motor experts, including Take to the Road, Motor Verso, UK Motor Talk, Car Articles and FOXY Lady Drivers Club to share the tips they use when taking care of their cars.
One of the simplest ways to avoid problems while driving, is to check your tyres. As FOXY Lady Drivers Club tell us, tyre troubles can be expensive and dangerous. They say:
“Illegal tread or incorrect tyre pressure affects car braking distances and results in accidents, penalty points and fines of £2,500 per tyre. Walk around your car regularly, looking for tyre damage or a slow puncture, and be sure to check tyre tread and pressure levels every month, as well as before long journeys.”
Both Motor Verso and UK Motor Talk advise checking your tyres’ tread depth with a 20p coin. Just place the coin upright in the grooves of the tread. If you can see the outer edge of the coin (the part with the year of the coin, etc.) then your tyres may not be road legal, and this is a sign that they’ll need replacing.
Got a Classic? Take It for a Spin
If you’re lucky enough to own a classic car, you might think that keeping it in your garage and just taking it out on sunny days will help preserve it, but actually it could be doing it harm.
Take to the Road explain that vintage vehicles need to stay active: “It’s not good for the mechanics or the electrics, so it’s important to use your classic regularly”. They recommend short trips of six miles a few times a week, along with longer 20-30 mile runs if you can:
“Longer drives really warm up the engine, the oil and the transmission fluid, and help with emissions as well, which is always good before the dreaded MOT inspection.”
Naturally, if you do longer drives, you’ll use more petrol, but as Take to the Road explain, this is a good thing. They say: “Classic cars hate stale fuel and there is nothing worse than carburettors gumming up on old petrol”, so it’s good to top up regularly to keep the engine clean and optimise your car’s MPG.
Maintain a Regime
The more you do something, the more you improve and the better results you will see. The same goes for car maintenance. UK Motor Talk, Motor Verso and Car Articles are big fans of a maintenance regime, with the former recommending checking up on things every one or two weeks:
“You’ll save yourself a lot of bother and heartache. Check under the bonnet, check your oil, coolant levels, windscreen washer, brake and power steering fluids, along with the windscreen wipers.”
When it comes to wipers, Motor Verso advise keeping the blades working smoothly by cleaning with a bit of vinegar: “Effective blades can make a rainy drive so much better”. It might seem like a pain, but frequent checks are key to avoiding dangerous or expensive problems further down the line. UK Motor Talk have got some handy video guides to fixing your car at home, right here.
Test your Brake Lights
Another important safety tip that a lot of our motor experts mentioned is checking your brake lights. Whether you get someone to help you out, as Motor Verso recommends, or you carefully back up to a wall/garage door/window and check in your rear-view mirror like UK Motor Talk suggests, you’ll never miss a blown bulb.
Get some Fresh Air
Since it’s a breeding ground for pollen and other allergens, Car Articles advise getting your air con serviced and re-gassed regularly to make sure these airborne irritants aren’t being circulated around your car.
Also, give it a check before the hot weather rolls in, you don’t want to get stuck in sticky, muggy conditions with nothing to cool you down this summer. We recommend using our Air Con Odour Bomb regularly to keep your interior fresh.
Check for Dust
Brake dust on your wheels can corrode the alloys, as Car Articles told us: “Left uncleaned, brake dust can damage expensive alloys, and no one can afford to be regularly replacing them.”
When the brake pad wears down, iron and steel fibres will be rubbed away and they’ll end up covering your alloys. Cleaning it off will make your wheels look better, but it will also stop them being corroded, so try and get it cleaned up as soon as possible. You could also protect them with a wheel protector, to help prevent damage.
If you’re happy that you’ve followed all these tips, Motor Verso recommend checking and testing the things on your car you don’t often use, like the rear seat belts and the car’s horn: “If you’re proactive and find issues before they become a problem, it could save you time and money”.
We’re always keen to pick up new car maintenance tips, so if you have your own little tricks, let us know on Twitter.
At Holts, we’re committed to solving your car maintenance problems. To find out more, and view our complete product range, visit the homepage.